In this article
- Getting started with Data.wa.gov.au
- The role of data creators in the data lifecycle
- The responsibilities of data creators
Welcome to DataWA
Welcome to the DataWA Toolkit - your resource for working with and understanding data published by the Western Australian government at data.wa.gov.au. The Toolkit provides a wealth of guidance, how to guides, and examples for both publishers and users of data and is supported by the WA Government Open Data Policy.
Data creators are the first link in the data lifecycle. You’re responsible for the creation, maintenance, and proper management of government data. You act as a custodian for your organisation’s data and work closely with data publishers in your organisation. Your responsibilities are to ensure that data is released safely and with all appropriate supporting material to enable people to understand and use it appropriately. In some organisations data creators and data publishers may be the same individual.
First time here?
Your key links for getting started with Data.wa.gov.au.
- The Data.wa.gov.au platform
- Creating your data publishing accounts
The Data Lifecycle
1. Prepare data
The data lifecycle begins with your data custodians preparing their data for publishing by so that it meets the technical requirements for being published on Data.wa.gov.au (e.g. using standard file formats, ensuring it fits within platform limits). You’ll work with them to ensure they’re aware of the requirements, and may need to liaise with the Open Data Team on any issues.
2. Prepare supporting material
Once data preparation is complete, your data custodians will need to prepare supporting material to be published with the data to enable people understand it (e.g. creating a data dictionary, writing your description of the dataset, a methodology statement describing how the data was constructed and any limitations and caveats). You’ll work with them to ensure that the material is comprehensive, written in plain english, and is easily understandable by others.
3. Upload and publish
With these key preparation steps completed by your data custodian, it’s now over to you to upload the data and complete the publishing process. What’s involved in this process will vary depending on the type of data you’re publishing. It may involve using a dedicated publishing tool, or involve uploading the data to a specific platform. You may need to liaise with your data custodians during the publishing process, and in some cases you may want to involve them directly in uploading the data and specifying how it should be published.
4. Make it discoverable
Once a dataset has been published you’ll work with the data custodian to make your data discoverable on Data.wa.gov.au, establish the metadata record is complete, and that all supporting material has been included. Once this is all in place, congratulations! Your dataset is now discoverable alongside a wealth of other datasets from across government.
With the dataset now published and discoverable you’re at the last key step in the data lifecycle - ensuring processes are in place for the ongoing maintenance of the data. If your data custodian updates the data frequently, the best way to ensure that it’s kept refreshed in Data.wa.gov.au is to put automated processes in place to publish regular updates.
Key links: The Data Lifecycle
- Preparing data for publishing
- Preparing collateral and supporting material for data
- Uploading and publishing your data
- Making your data discoverable
- Data maintenance, change management, and automating updates
The responsibilities of a data custodian fall into three broad categories -
1. Data publishing *editing required for title*
Take care to publish data safely. Be mindful of privacy, copyright, intellectual property, commercial in confidence and security issues that may relate to your data. In some cases, it may be necessary to publish a public version of your dataset that has been de-identified, or is published in aggregate form, while publishing the full dataset with limitations on who can access it. Refer to your agency’s data release procedures, the Open Data Policy, and the WA Government Data Classification Policy for guidance.
2. Maintenance of data *editing required for title*
Coordinate within your organisation to ensure that your data is updated in a timely fashion and does not become stale. You also need to ensure that there are appropriate change management process and guidance are in place so that users of your data are kept informed and notified of any changes to the structure or maintenance of the data.
3. Robust data *editing required for title*
Coordinate work with your data publisher to ensure your data is well described, has supporting collateral, and that you’re available to answer queries about the use, history, and provenance from users of the data. Where access to data is restricted, you may also be asked to provide input on requests for access from other organisations or individuals who wish to make use of your data.
Key links: Your Responsibilities
- Guide to identifying and preparing data for release
- Checklist for identifying and preparing data for release
- Whole of Government Open Data Policy
- WA Government Data Classification Policy